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Journal of Child and Adolescent Mental Health

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Research Paper

Risk factors for premature termination of treatment at a child and family mental health clinic

Laura Taylor, Debra Kaminer, Anneli Hardy

Abstract


Objective: Premature termination of treatment amongst children and families attending mental health services is a significant problem for both outcomes research and clinical practice in South Africa and elsewhere. This study investigated factors that are associated with premature termination of treatment at a public service child and family clinic in Cape Town.
Method: A retrospective archival analysis of clinic files from 2002–2009 was conducted. Administrative, child and family factors, and type of treatment were explored as risk factors for premature termination.
Results: A single-parent household and the presence of a child or oppositional defiant disorder were risk factors for premature termination of treatment, while the presence of a maternal psychiatric diagnosis was associated with a lower likelihood of terminating treatment prematurely. Conducting a scholastic assessment with the child was associated with a lower risk of premature termination, while there was a trend towards a higher risk of premature termination when individual child therapy was the recommended treatment.
Conclusions: This study offers recommendations for how these findings could assist South African clinicians to enhance client retention in child and family mental health services, and suggestions for future research.

Journal of Child and Adolescent Mental Health 2011, 23(2): 155–164



http://dx.doi.org/10.2989/17280583.2011.634553
AJOL African Journals Online